Benfica pondered Pires bid
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Benfica considered making a deadline day swoop for Arsenal's Robert Pires.
Benfica considered making a deadline day swoop for Arsenal's Robert Pires when Simao Sabrosa looked to be heading for Liverpool.
The Lisbon giants allowed Simao to discuss terms with Rafa Benitez's European champions but the move collapsed due to their insistence on a é¼20 million (£13.68 million) fee for the attacking midfielder.
Reports in Portugal have indicated that Liverpool would not offer more than é¼18 million (£12.3 million) and that, coupled with Benfica's reluctance to sell their skipper without finding a replacement, scuppered Benitez's bid.
With the clock ticking, it is believed Benfica thought about approaching Pires to fill the void although it is unlikely Arsene Wenger would have allowed the Frenchman to leave Highbury.
Even with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, Pires is set to play a major role for The Gunners as they attempt to wrestle the Premiership title back from Chelsea.